Construction of a special building on the huge site of Madison County

Madison County, MS (WLBT) — Construction is moving ahead on a new building that business leaders say could help draw new industry to the massive Madison County site.

Last week, the Board of Supervisors approved the site plan for a specific building along the Madison County Parkway.

“It’s about to go vertical,” said Joy Dyson, executive director of the Madison County Economic Development Authority. “The first thing they will do is bring them in and start on the equal. The steel joists for the roof are in. The mortise panels will be delivered (this week) or a week later…”

The idea behind the building is to make the mega site more attractive to potential developers. It is being built to attract potential developers who are looking for a quick place to set up shop.

“Essentially, when you do economic development, it’s about speed to market. For many companies in a 100,000 to 200,000-square-foot market, if you have an existing building, it will be much faster. They can start their operations in no time,” Deson explained. Closer by moving into a building under construction or completion.

He said that even if the building did not meet the client’s needs, the mere presence of the structure would boost interest in the industrial area.

“You might come in and look at the building, and it might not fit your needs, but you look at the park,” he said. “He drives traffic into the park. That’s what he does.”

The mega site is a nearly 1,000-acre site in the unincorporated part of Madison County designated for industrial development.

Water, sewage and roads have been installed, making it nearly ready for development for new business.

Meanwhile, Dyson said construction is nearing completion on a new water tower designed to increase capacity and provide better fire protection.

“The base and bowl construction is almost done. I think they will start painting the bowl in two or three weeks.” It should be completed by the end of July.

In the meantime, the designated building area will be 100,000 square feet but could be expanded to 300,000.

The project is funded through a corporate partnership that includes Ergon.

“MCEDA is not building it. MCEDA is providing the property needed to build it,” Dyson said.

Work on the walls and ceiling should be finished in September or October.

“At the end of the day, it’s going to be a building shell. We won’t put a concrete slab floor on until we have a careful user and we know their exact needs,” Dyson said.

He said similar buildings have been or will be constructed in other places across the state, including Tupelo, Corinth and Starkville.

“We (receive proposals) for that as we speak,” Deson said. “At this point, we have a kind of luxury to be choosing them. We don’t want to pick something that goes in there and pays minimum wage or just above. We want to make sure it’s right for the building and the community.”

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